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Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
  • WS96
  • RP94
  • ST93
  • CG92
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Winemaker Notes

Intensely fragrant with aromas of crème de cassis, graphite and notes of lavender and bay. Rich flavors of blackberry and huckleberry merge with earthiness and minerality. Tannins are generous and well-developed, firm yet sweet. A powerful wine with elegance and grace.

Napa Valley's 2006 vintage began with a wet winter that extended into spring, delivering more than twice the average rainfall for March and nearly four times the April average. The precipitation delayed bloom, but once the skies cleared, the vines had good fruit set and progressed slowly and steadily through slightly warmer than usual June weather. In July, a brief hot spell of four consecutive days over 100-degrees had the effect of putting the vines "on hold" before ripening continued when mild weather returned in August. Lower temperatures extended through September and October, with some fog and cloudy days. Overall, the 2006 growing season was significantly cooler than average, and harvest began generally later. Grapes for this wine were picked October 12-27. All the fruit was in the winery before light rains fell in early November. Crop levels for 2006 were average and thanks to the long hang time, which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, quality was excellent.

Critical Acclaim

WS 96
Wine Spectator

Pure, rich and concentrated, this bold, graceful wine offers a deep core of earthy currant, blackberry and plum, with hints of herb, mocha and black licorice, giving it uncommon complexity and depth. Ends with firm tannins and a long, persistent finish.

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve offers a beautiful perfume of violets, black currants, and subtle oak, lead pencil shavings, and spice characteristics. This full-bodied, creamy textured Cabernet possesses superb concentration, lovely purity, and a multilayered mouthfeel. It should drink well for two decades or more.

ST 93
International Wine Cellar

Good deep ruby-red. Currant, chocolate and tobacco on the nose. Silky, layered and lush, with a seamless texture to the full-bodied flavors of plum, currant and lead-pencil minerality. Has plenty of plump mid-palate fruit to support the big but thoroughly ripe tannins, which reach the front teeth. Mostly from To-Kalon fruit, the rest from nearby vines also in Oakville. Winemaker Janssens compared this wine to the 1995. This is sweet and approachable, whereas the 2005 version was young and aggressive at the same stage.

CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide

In this tricky vintage, the Mondavi winery has been able to move beyond the potential angularity that pops up so often and instead has delivered a polished, focused wine that shows far more fruit and far better balance than its stated alcohol of 15.5% would seem to suggest. Ripe and mouthfilling but also amazingly silky in texture and deep in curranty fruit, this one has plenty of depth upon which to grow while its evident tannins age out over the next half decade and more.

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Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi

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Robert Mondavi, , California
Robert Mondavi
For more than 40 years, Robert Mondavi Winery has been the symbol of Napa Valley. Founded in 1966, it was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades following the repeal of Prohibition (1933), and went on to establish the foundation for modern California winemaking. Robert Mondavi Winery's mission-styled architecture, with the expansive archway and bell tower designed by Cliff May, has become an enduring landmark that honors California's history. With the philosophy that great wines reflect their origins, Robert Mondavi Winery pursues the fullest expression of the terroir of its Napa Valley vineyards: the historic To Kalon Vineyard in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the Wappo Hill Vineyard in the Stags Leap Vineyard AVA.

Bordeaux

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

MRERMRES2006_2006 Item# 97408

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